Central York school officials fielded questions about financial issues from tax collection to the district's retirement responsibilities on Tuesday night.

At a town hall meeting that drew around 30 to 40 people, Supt. Michael Snell first gave an overview of the proposed 2012-13 budget, which doesn't include a tax increase. The budget's deficit has been whittled from the initially projected $2.9 million down to about $480,000.

The deficit was cut down in a variety of ways, officials said, including positions that won't be filled, 10 percent building cuts, 10 percent cut to athletics, and savings from alternative education being moved back in-house, for example.

To close the remaining gap, Snell said, there are a few options: continue to cut expenses, increase taxes, use fund balance, or do a combination of those.

"One of the wild cards is ... we don't know what's going to happen in Harrisburg," said Michael Wagner, president of the school board. The governor's proposed budget includes a small increase for Central York over last year.

Snell said there could be more developments before a final district budget is made -- a retirement or resignation that wasn't anticipated, or more revenue in the final state budget.

Residents raised questions about which groups pay to use district facilities, how much teachers contribute to their health care plans, and whether energy audits have been done.

School officials explained the way the state's retirement system works and talked about the district's tax collection rate, which has been 98 percent in recent years. In response to a question, Wagner said the 2012-13 is the final year for teachers' current contract.

Kathy Bonadio, a Springettsbury Township resident, said she attended because she doesn't want a tax increase. Many elderly people can't afford rising taxes, she said.

She thinks there should only be one option for balancing the budget -- cutting expenses. More town hall meetings should be held, she said, noting a problem of apathy among residents who don't want to come share their opinion.

Wagner said he appreciated the chance to answer questions.

"Hopefully, I think we helped people here understand better some of the challenges we're going to face next year and beyond," he said.

The school board has look years into the future, he said. Kindergartners are registering this month, he said.

"They're going to be in our schools for 13 years," he said, adding they deserve the same education current students are receiving.

Online

The Central York School District has posted information about the 2012-13 budget online. The district website is at www.cysd.k12.pa.us. Click on "Budget Information" under the "Quick Links" tab.

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